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09/08/2009

Acknowledging gays vs. teaching religion: We're not negotiating here, Marcia!

by Jeremy Hooper

Writing for the aggressively anti-gay American Family Association, columnist Marcia Segelstein says the following about gays and public schooling:

I am also a social conservative. I believe in traditional Judeo-Christian values, and want the freedom to continue to worship as a Christian. I also want the right to raise my children with those values. I don't want my children taught that the practice of homosexuality is right any more than my liberal neighbors want their children taught that it's wrong. Liberals who wouldn't want their children taught Christian precepts in school should be able to understand why conservative Christians don't want their children taught un-Christian precepts. In fact, if public schools focused on academics and left social and moral issues to parents, we'd all be better off. Social change dreamed up and forced on society, including children, by a few Washington insiders is a truly frightening prospect. Too much power in the hands of a small group of any persuasion is a dangerous thing.
Here's what I REALLY think (an open letter to liberals) [ONN]

Thoughts that might have some semblance of merit if gay human beings were a moral issue, religion, practice, liberal issue, precept, social change, prospect Segelstein(frightening or otherwise), or antonym for the word "Christian." But of course what Ms. Segelstein (like so many of the intensely frustrating cultural commentators on her side) overlooks is the fact that gay humans beings are actually living, breathing people. We are not an ideology or a faith. We are not a concept that is to be separated from the state. We are flesh and frickin' blood! And for far too long, this nation has been woefully negligent in protecting the queer bodies, souls, and minds that make up this world!

Liberals who wouldn't want their children taught Christian precepts in school should be able to understand why conservative Christians don't want their children taught Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, or Scientologist precepts. That's an accurate statement. But as for gay people? Folks of any and every political stance or faith belief should more than understand why a conversation about whether or not our schools should accurately assess the reality that is LGBT people should not even be up for discussion in America, 2009!

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Your thoughts

Mx. Segelstein could use that same, simpleton argument about anything being taught in public schools. Like evolution, or science, or desegregation... And, history is littered with one occasion after another where the lying liars have... and dare I say, they will continue to do so into perpetuity. And, yet she thinks that this time she might get those degenerate "liberals" to agree with her because she thinks she feigns being "reasonable".

Einstein said, "..doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results," is the very definition of insanity. I concur with his assessment of the mind and madness of the religiot.

Posted by: Dick Mills | Sep 8, 2009 5:31:31 PM

C'mon, Jeremy. Apparently you didn't take Arguments 101. The best way to win an argument is to dehumanize your opponent and paint with a broad brush. It works best if you use the pronoun "they" instead of actually naming people. Much scarier that way.

Posted by: Brian | Sep 8, 2009 6:36:46 PM

Sigh. So they wanna restrict the civil rights of millions of LGBT folk to avoid having an uncomfortable conversation with their kids?

Posted by: Bill S | Sep 8, 2009 6:44:42 PM

Hi Bill S.
It's only as uncomfortable as they want to make it. The thing about children is, their very nature of innocence requires honesty, courage and intelligence and compassion from the adults around them. Parents have to lead by example, they know their children rely on them, but children will also test the VERACITY and CONSISTENCE of an adult every day. This is why, in decent people, children can make us better and more forthright and mature adults.

Controlling adults, those who want unquestioning and unchallenged loyalty, try to hide from their children, the realities on which they will be tested.
Not only that, there usually is an exagerrated perception of trauma that will result, causing unnecessary anxiety in the child.


So tiresome. Really. Tiresome.
I know I don't have to tell you. But the historical context bears mentioning and why I find it so easy to talk to children in this way because it IS really easy and makes more sense.
Homosexuality predates ANY and ALL of the most influential religions. It's not an artificial invention that came along to make religion more difficult and less believable.
Jeremy is right that this isn't about ideology, but REAL people who are indigenous and universal to all mankind.
And whose attributes have remained a constant, even as religion evolves.

Religion came along to control and maintain fear, guilt and shame in illiterate and vulnerable populations. There were times when being educated in it, was only the domain of men, to dole it out and police it selectively.

Only in more recent times with people who could attend public and open schools and the expansion of education did that power over the masses diminish and individual thought became more critical and independent.
But of course, when people are vulnerable and insecure, the hard sell of religious belief is easier and so is blaming a convenient scapegoat for the troubles to be, if not at hand.

A child is smart, and a child will devil us with, when we are decent, fair questions.
Those who resent those questions, or fear them, will pretend the question wasn't uttered or make the child feel guilty as if impertinent for asking.

I've noticed that discussions on homosexuality bring out the most ad hoc of belief and opinion. And other subjects, not so much. ESPECIALLY the profoundly tragic issues of abandoned and abused children, the high divorce and domestic violence rates.

Invoking God is supposed to be the end of discussions and questions.
Because I said so, is now 'God said so', and the lives of gay people is still discussed as theory, and gay people to be relegated to live as children without challenging the place 'meant' for them.
Even children actually grow up. But the gay adult, as I have observed is still spoken of as if a perpetually naughty and petulant child, not an adult with adult needs, responsibilities and sensibilities.

I've seen women and blacks discussed and spoken to this way as well, depending on the era when women and blacks challenged this country on it's own standards and creed of equality and freedom.
And gay folks are doing it now. And it's not looking good for the opposition. It's impossible NOT to be hypocritical and lacking in consistence, but they'd rather pretend we're being awful to them and hurting them.

But where IS the price they are paying that is so profoundly without fairness?
What IS the sacrifice they are anticipating, but have no evidence exists?

The perpetual debt gay people actually pay to heterosexual perception of superiority has to stop.
It's a debt that was never owed. Now some of it has to be returned.
Children know when something is unfair, and the opposition is afraid most of all, when their children figure it out and they won't be able to hide from them.

Posted by: Regan DuCasse | Sep 8, 2009 8:46:49 PM

**Liberals who wouldn't want their children taught Christian precepts in school**

Neatly implying liberals aren't Christian.

I know quite a few Christians who don't want their children taught Christianity in school. Taught about Christianity, sure--and the other world religions, because otherwise you go through life an ignorant, cloistered hick. And if Ms. Segelstein stopped to think about it for a minute, she wouldn't want her children taught Christian precepts in school, either, because the hundreds of Christian denominations out there differ (often greatly) on various points of faith, and if you actually try teaching any Christian precepts (as opposed to just reiterating them to the already-faithful), you are going to step on somebody's toes concerning doctrine. Better to keep that in Sunday school.

**In fact, if public schools focused on academics and left social and moral issues to parents, we'd all be better off.**

So says the movement that wants:

1.) prayer in school;
2.) the Ten Commandments posted in schools;
3.) abstinance-only sex education taught in school;
4.) creationism/Intelligent Design taught in school;
5.) mention of scientific fact in conflict with their religious beliefs eliminated from schools;
6.) the banning from school libraries and English classes of books they don't like.

But teaching children that people have many differences and we should all respect and tolerate each other is pushing an agenda on innocent children.

**Social change dreamed up and forced on society, including children, by a few Washington insiders is a truly frightening prospect.**

Oh, that's good. The fact that gay people exist, and that all human beings deserve to be treated fairly, is a Washington-insider artificially created social experiment. It didn't grow organically from people--gay and straight--until it reached critical mass or anything, y'know. And it's not like any of those kids are gay, so we don't need to worry about their learning they have rights as citizens and people. After all, it's written in the Constitution and the Bible and all that parents have the right to raise their children in a vacuum, without ever having to worry that their little darlings will hear the teeny-tiniest thing that differs from their parents' beliefs.

They must really worry that kids will find some point of view other than theirs irresistable. It's so awfully hard to make your child a bigot these days.


Posted by: usernamekiller | Sep 8, 2009 9:11:34 PM

"You've got to be carefully taught..."

Posted by: Bill S | Sep 9, 2009 8:39:51 AM

Bill S: Thanks for the idea:

http://www.goodasyou.org/good_as_you/2009/09/careful.html

Posted by: G-A-Y | Sep 9, 2009 8:52:12 AM

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